Diary

Breaking: Texas Evangelicals* decide to make Santorum the anti-Romney candidate

As many have already heard, the 150 member group of  conservatives who have gotten together in a ranch in Texas have decided to collectively back Santorum even if they had previously declared for other candidates. They had gathered together due to find an alternative for Romney.  Obviously this is another big get for Santorum who benefited greatly from similar endorsements in Iowa. This should result in a big influx of cash for the Santorum team while Newt and Perry will have to answer questions about why they weren’t chosen. If one candidate is to become the anti-Romney and deny him the nomination, if that’s still possible, it will almost have to be Santorum at this point. Complain and whine about why 150 get to make this decision and say you’ll never give up on your candidate all you like, this likely closes the door on anyone else managing to unite the anti-Romney faction early enough to deny Mitt the nomination. There simply isn’t time to rally around another candidate after this – this is the last shot to do it.

The question become can Santorum come the nominee, and further, do we want him to? On the first issue, can he, I believe if almost every anti-Romney candidate rallies around him, it is possible. Mitt still has a lot of advantages, and I believe Santorum has ballot/delegate issues in more then just VA. But yes, very few delegates have awarded, and with this endorsement Santorum could gain the momentum to pull it off – if he successfully unites the other candidates supporters. That is far from certain, but he does have a week (an eternity in campaign time) and there is some evidence of Romney falling in the SC polls, and the scorched earth attacks of Newt and Perry has likely made many of their supporters willing to look elsewhere. There were already rumors that Newt was considering dropping out after NH if he didn’t do well enough and endorsing Santorum. Given that he appears only to be in the race now out of spite for Romney, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear rumors of him thinking about the same thing getting leaked to the press by him, giving his supporters winks and nods to go support Santorum instead to stop Mitt, and him spending the next week mostly as Santorum’s personal attack dog. Will it be enough? Personally I doubt it will be, but who expected Santorum to get within 8 votes of winning Iowa? If Santorum can beat Mitt in SC, then all bets are off.

On the other issue, do we want him to win the nomination, honestly I’m even more doubtful. Frankly I have to believe that Obama is laughing his you know what off. Santorum? Looking beyond his issues with conservative voters as discussed on RS, how will he do in a general election. The guy who decided to run on social issues on an economic year? The guy who says that as president he’ll talk about thinks like when it’s ok for you to have sex (hint – it’s only when you’re trying to procreate)? The guy who gets young people excited – but only because they enjoy mocking him for his views on gays? The guy who is almost certain to fire up Obama’s base? The guy who’s never really been pushed back on because no one saw him as a threat? How will he do when facing Obama’s attack machine?

Honestly I’m not particularly for or against Santorum. I just don’t know that he’s a winning candidate. What do other people think?

 

*To be clear, I know this isn’t a group of all Texans, it’s a group of conservative/evangelicals that met up in Texas, that without a real name have generally been called Texas this or that or a Texas conference. I assume most people on RS have heard of it by now and know who I’m talking about.